Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 8: Darren McFadden Gets It Done in Big D

By Jason Lisk
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Darren McFadden last rushed for 150 yards in a NFL game on September 25, 2011 against the New York Jets, more than four years ago. It’s easy to forget how good Darren McFadden was for a short stretch. In 2010, he had over 1,600 yards from scrimmage in 13 games. At the start of 2011, he was again averaging over 100 yards from scrimmage when he suffered a Lisfranc foot injury in the 7th game.

On Sunday, McFadden showed flashes of that player. There was much talk about Christine Michael getting more work through the bye week. When Joseph Randle suffered an early injury, though, it was McFadden who got the lion’s share of work and responded with 152 yards rushing and a touchdown. Randle’s injury status isn’t certain yet, but it looks like McFadden may be ready to commence his comeback behind the Cowboys’ offensive line. With Lance Dunbar’s injury as the receiving back, plus now Randle being ineffective and hurt, he’s worth a shot.

He may not be available in your league. He’s currently owned in 56% of CBS leagues, and 48th most owned RB. As always I list players based on ownership percentage, and hopefully you can find options that fit your league. Shallow Leagues are for players owned between 50-69% of the time, Average leagues for players owned 30-49% of the time, and Deep Leagues for players owned in less than 30%.

QUARTERBACKS

Shallow Leagues: Ryan Fitzpatrick (54%) vs. Oakland is the best matchup among possible free agents to plug in. Fitzpatrick has plenty of weapons with Marshall and Decker. I don’t like the matchup play this week, but Derek Carr (53%) is a good option for the second half of the year.

Average Leagues: Alex Smith (48%) played better last week, even without Jeremy Maclin, who should be back for the game against the Lions in London. Detroit has consistently had a below average pass defense all year.  Teddy Bridgewater (38%) is developing a connection with Stefon Diggs and plays the Bears on the road.

Deep Leagues: Pickings are slim. Cousins is on a bye week, Nick Foles (28%) hasn’t done much. It might be Johnny Manziel (7%) starting against Arizona if Josh McCown is held out. Good luck with that.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Shallow and Average Leagues: Alfred Blue (40%) hasn’t really taken advantage of the opportunities in the past when Arian Foster was out, so he is a tepid recommendation. Still, opportunity is a factor, and he’s first up in Houston. Antonio Andrews (31%) has a good matchup against a porous Houston defense.

Deep Leagues: Dexter McCluster (5%) is the deep matchup play in PPR against Houston, after seeing the amount of YAC that secondary surrendered on short passes. Orleans Darkwa (1%) had the most carries for the Giants this week, but that seems like a mess. Javorius Allen (19%) is another deep flex play going against the Chargers, who are giving up the most points to RB this year.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Shallow Leagues: Stefon Diggs (62%) still might be available in some leagues. Why? Similarly, I’ve been touting Michael Crabtree (55%) as an option based on his targets and he provided a touchdown. Rishard Matthews (60%) is another option going against the Patriots. He’s not a start this week, but Davante Adams (64%) should be back for the Packers and could be worth a speculative add for the second half of the season.

Average Leagues: Marvin Jones (48%) is a WR3 option this week against the Steelers, while Danny Amendola (36%) has become a bigger part of the Patriots’ passing attack in recent weeks and you can expect another high-volume passing game from Tom Brady.

Deep Leagues: Nate Washington (7%) was targeted 17 times last week with Houston trailing so quickly, and teams paying so much attention to DeAndre Hopkins. Tyler Lockett (8%) caught the big touchdown last week and was targeted more than other receivers on the team (5), and could be worth a late add, especially if you get ST points as well.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Shallow Leagues: Jordan Reed (61%) had 11 catches in his first game back from concussion. He’s on a bye but a top 5 option when he returns.

Average Leagues: Benjamin Watson (45%) has had at least 9 fantasy points in his last three games, so even if he doesn’t have a big game again, he’s still better than other reserve options. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (36%) could be back from his injury soon.

Deep Leagues: Eric Ebron (26%) returned and had a big touchdown catch. Crockett Gilmore (21%)  was targeted 7 times and had 5 catches in his second game back and is a fall-back option if you need a starter.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

  1. Darren McFadden, RB DAL
  2. Stefon Diggs, WR MIN
  3. Alfred Blue, RB HOU
  4. Antonio Andrews, RB TEN
  5. Michael Crabtree, WR OAK
  6. Dexter McCluster, RB TEN
  7. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB NYJ
  8. Benjamin Watson, TE NO
  9. Nate Washington, WR HOU
  10. Eric Ebron, TE DET
  11. Rishard Matthews, WR MIA
  12. Marvin Jones, WR CIN
  13. Danny Amendola, WR NE
  14. Tyler Lockett, WR SEA
  15. Alex Smith, QB KC

FUTURE IMPACT

  1. Stefon Diggs, WR MIN
  2. Darren McFadden, RB DAL
  3. Jordan Reed, TE WAS
  4. Michael Crabtree, WR OAK
  5. David Carr, QB OAK
  6. Alfred Blue, RB HOU
  7. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE TB
  8. Antonio Andrews, RB TEN
  9. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB NYJ
  10. Benjamin Watson, TE NO
  11. Nate Washington, WR HOU
  12. Eric Ebron, TE DET
  13. Rishard Matthews, WR MIA
  14. Marvin Jones, WR CIN
  15. Danny Amendola, WR NE
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